Think twice before you 'pumpkin spice' your life
Mother Nature decided to cooperate and fall is finally here! *sigh*
There’s something about this season…evening strolls taking in the beautiful autumn colours, revamping your wardrobe with chunky knits and of course pumpkin spicing your life, duh.
On an autumn afternoon, there’s nothing quite like a speciality latte for a little pick-me-up. A fan favourite of course is the pumpkin spice latte, a signature part of this season! Before you indulge in your choice of speciality latte, there are a few things you should know.
A pumpkin spice latte can contain anywhere from 150 to 500 calories according to Personal Trainer & Health Coach, Bryan Chang (Link to Bryan’s IG fitness page: @bryanchangfitness. One PSL can contain up to 55 grams of sugar— to put that in perspective that’s 12 teaspoons… yikes!
According to the American Heart Association, women should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar each day.
So why is it important to drink your speciality lattes in moderation? There is no nutritional value in them, only empty carbs. Bryan says, “These empty carbs will trick you into feeling full for a short period of time, and then hit you with a big wave of hunger and cravings again for more sugary and fatty foods. It’s a vicious cycle.”
Here’s the breakdown of what a PSL does to your body:
- The amount of sugar in one PSL will spike your blood sugar levels high, very quickly.
- The rapid rise in blood sugar levels will release big amounts of Insulin to break down the sugars.
- That extra 50-66 grams of sugar gets stored as fat.
- The high levels of sugar from the PSL will likely cause inflammation in your gut, which will cause digestive issues, mood issues and decrease energy levels.
Sounds fun, right? We aren’t trying to scare you! Everything should be enjoyed in moderation. So I asked Bryan how we could alter our orders so that we can still enjoy the flavours of fall without feeling too guilty about it!
Here is your #HealthyIsHot PSL guideline:
- Always order the smallest size.
- Reduce the amount of syrup pumps they put in your drink to 1-2 OR replace the syrup with cinnamon. (*Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease factors and other health benefits)
- Opt for Almond or Coconut milk instead.
- Skip the whip cream!
- Make your own PSL, this way you are in more control of what you are putting in your body.
Bryan says it’s normal to have food/drink cravings when the weather cools down; this is called SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder where we crave warm comfort food/drinks such as lattes. As the weather cools we also see less of the sun! This can cause deficiencies in Vitamin D, which can affect our mood and our eating habits.
Stay focused on your fitness goals and pumpkin spice your life in a #HealthyIsHot kind of way!